Wanted private plane to Barents Environment meeting

Norwegian Minister of Environment Erik Solheim.

The Norwegian Minister of Environment Erik Solheim wanted to hire a plane from next week’s meeting in Tromsø between the environmental ministers of the Barents Region. Now, he drops the meeting.


The price for the rent of the private plane would be 418.356 NOK (more than 50.000 Euro).

Erik Solheim was supposed to be the host for the meeting between Ministers of Environment of the Barents countries Norway, Russia, Sweden and Finland. The meeting will be in the Norwegian city of Tromsø on February 17th.

The newspaper VG writes that the Norwegian Minister wanted to hire a private plane because he wanted to fly directly from the Barents meeting in Tromsø to another meeting in Segovia in Portugal starting the same evening as the Tromsø meeting ends.

-The two meetings are not possible to combine without renting a private plane and fly directly from Tromsø, says head of the information for the Minister, Mr. Trond Viken to VG.

The Norwegian Government does not have its own plane, so every time a Minister wants to hire a plane, an application is sent to the Prime Minister’s office.

In the end, it was decided that the Norwegian Minister of Environment will drop both the important Barents meeting in Tromsø and his planned meeting in Portugal. Erik Solheim will instead participate at a meeting in Oslo where a report on how Norway can cut its emission of climate gasses will be presented.

Instead of the Minister himself, State Secretary Heidi Sørensen in the Ministry of environment will take part in the Tromsø meeting between Ministers of Environment of the Barents countries.

Minister Erik Solheim didn’t participate at the last Ministerial meeting in Moscow in November 2007 either.

Norway took over the chairmanship of the Barents Euro-Arctic Councils Working Group on Environment from Russia in 2007.

After next week’s meeting in Tromsø, the chairmanship will rotate from Norway to Sweden. Sweden’s Minister of Environment Andreas Carlgren will, according to the Swedish Government’s calendar, participate at the Tromsø meeting.